Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Abbey Turns 11 on 11-6-11

She has grown up so quickly and this last Sunday was just another reminder that our little girl is not such a little girl anymore.  It was her birthday and as usual it pricked my heart with memories.  I have always tried to tell each of our children, on their birthday, the story of their birth as their bedtime story - what happened on that day, how everyone felt, and what it was like to welcome each of them into our family.  This year, as usual, Abbey sat transfixed as I told her about her arrival on a cold, blustery November day in 2000.  She is in love with that story and especially in love with the part about everyone coming to adore her as they met her for the first time.  She looks worried when I tell her how she didn't breathe on her own at first and I had to tell her to breathe.  She gets a big smile when she hears the part about how Ben was the first one to hold her after Brett and I did.  Then she giggles when I tell her how nervous he was and was afraid he would drop her.  She always looks surprised when she hears how Kristy held her and told her that she was beautiful and perfect.  And the story goes on from there.
At Halloween Abbey got accused of being too old to trick-or-treat by one of our neighbors, but she just smiled and held out her bag anyway.  She has often been expected to act older than she is because of her tall, long-legged frame.  When she told me about the comment from our neighbor I wanted to go to his door and explain how wrong he was but I didn't.  I did get a little more upset about it than I should have though.  I guess you probably know why . . . well, Abbey's birthday was only a few days away and I was going to argue with anyone who put my baby in the "too old" category for enjoying any holiday as a kid.

Well, her big day didn't turn out to be very exciting because Brett and I were in the middle of dealing with the flu and all its fun.  Brett mustered up enough strength to take Abbey and two of her friends to the movie, and all she wanted from me was strawberry pancakes for breakfast and a red velvet birthday cake. Ha!  Easier said than done, but I was going to do all I could not to burst her bubble of innocence and confidence in me.  I was going to make that breakfast and bake that cake, even if it killed me, and it nearly did.  My flu tried to turn into pneumonia the next day, but some well-timed antibiotics staved that off luckily.

The pancake breakfast turned out okay, but as you can see from the pictures, the cake wasn't pretty.  (And you must know that it takes a confident woman to publish these photos on the internet among all the perfect Suzy Homemaker fantasy blogs.) The recipe I used was from a reliable internet source but sometimes, no matter what, the whipped cream (that is essential in the frosting recipe) in this part of the world cannot be counted on.  But being the wonderful girl Abbey is, she took it all in stride and called it her most memorable avalanche birthday cake ever.  Then she told me that her birthday wish when she blew out the candles was going to be that her mom and dad get well.  BIG points scored with that one!

A special thanks has to go to the Straight family for wanting to be in on the festivities and Skyping with us so they could help sing "Happy Birthday" and Jalisa could cheer Abbey on as she tried to blow out the candles.  Thanks, Jim, Jennifer, Jalisa, and even Sammy the cat for being our chosen family even while we are so far away.

Speaking of how wonderful Abbey is, I have to hand it to her.  She lives around expat kids who get a birthday party every year along with too much of everything else.  Maybe it's because their parents are trying to compensate for not being able to live at "home", or maybe it is this way in the states as well and children are just overindulged, but whatever it is, these kids are SPOILED.  Brett and I have been determined not to let that happen with our Abigail, so the birthday party is one thing we have held back on.  Our older kids had maybe three birthday parties each the whole time they were growing up and that was plenty for them, for me, and especially for our budget.  Even though our budget is a little better off these days, we have told Abbey that she isn't going to have a big party every year with her friends.  She isn't happy about it but she understands and doesn't complain.  In fact she gets involved and plans her own birthday activities.  When Brett and I suggested we all go to the movies she said, "No offense guys, but I really don't want to hang out with adults all day on my birthday."  Yeah, Abbey!  I love it when my children know what they want and stand up for it.  I hope she continues to be excited about and immersed in writing the rest of her "story" as she grows up.  She is extraordinary and I continue to sit back in amazement as she conquers her world.  And Mr. So Wrong Neighbor out there . . . Abbey will let you know when she is done with trick-or-treating, but luckily, this wasn't the year.


Kristy said...

And she's STILL beautiful and perfect!! Love that girl.

Amy said...

Great post for a great girl! I love that you posted your less-than-perfect birthday cake. Although, I must say the frosting looks like melted white chocolate to me, and I LOVE white chocolate! Two thumbs up that you managed it being SICK as well. You are wonder-woman, Dianna! No surprise Abbey is just like you. :)

Jan.lyons said...

Happy Birthday, sweet, beautiful Abbey.